One simple way to express you message crystal-clearly
Striving to be understood
Do you remember the time you gave a presentation, your audience looked at you attentively; your mind was loaded with brilliant ideas, but somehow the message was lost in the air when you speak it out?
Eloquence might come to some individuals naturally, but the good news is there’s a formula for expressing your points, that can guarantee a significant boost of coherence.
It’s called PEER — it can be applied to speaking and writing. It ensures your message is easy to understand and well supported, and, clarity of the message, would be a natural outcome.
What makes a message clear?
PEER stands for Point, Elaboration, Example, and Repeat. Messages structured is a flow that shifts from one component to the next. As a result, understanding the message would be effortless.
How does it work? Simply deliver the message in the following sequence: Point, Elaboration, Example, and Repeat.
There is a myriad of rhetoric devices one may choose to debut their grand main point. Some hint the point implicitly, some keep it until the very end, some are the combinations of multiple techniques. But saying the point at first makes the whole message straight-forward and easy to understand.
Yes, it may not be the most sophistical, fancy way to convey the undulation of your soul. This might be an old-school method, but the audience can always grasp what you’re going to say.
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Elaboration supplements the point. In most cases, it can be treated as the “why is the ground of your point?” question. There is no silver bullet to this question, but the elaboration section should give a skeleton, so to speak, of the issue. For example, you do want to teach the importance of grit in life? Start elaborating by telling your audience what exactly is grit: “Grit is the quality to overcome setbacks to pursue the one goal in your life….”
If the elaboration is the skeleton of the argument, then the examples are the flesh. Giving an example gives a rocket boost to the convincingness for humans are social animals and our brains are hard-wired to feel, not just understand, stories.
Can you think of a story that sticks to what you have just elaborated? If you just made the claim that eating an apple per day can enhance cognitive ability, why not share with the audience how the trick saved a helpless student? Remember to include emotions: how frustrated was the student? What was on his mind? How did the situation change when he followed the “apple trick”?
The audience now knows everything that they need to know. But you want them more than just knowing, right? The conclusion wraps the content into a parcel that the audience can take away, and inspires action.
My favourite way to write up the conclusion is to summarise each section of the speech to one sentence, followed by a call-to-action that the audience can take.
Shall we see an example?
(Point) A crucial part of a good life is getting enough sleep. (Elaboration) Many people squeeze their sleep for work or other important things in life, but this is actually not a smart approach. While you might get an additional two hours or so, your overall efficacy is hampered because your mind doesn’t get enough time to rest and rewire. (Example) John, my friend running a start-up, just piloted to cut one hour of working time in the morning, asking his employees to sleep more. Surprisingly, there is a 20% boost in the company performance — and the employees are now happier and more loyal to the company. (Repeat) While you might not work in a company that plays nicely with you, remember rest more will enable you to do more — maybe just try to sleep 30 minutes early tonight? (Repeat — Call to action) You’ll be amazed by how much time you save from that 30 minutes of sleep.
(For another example, look at the structure of this article)
Easy and clear, right? Now you know the trick to deliver a simple, clear and effective message. Point, Elaboration, Example, Repeat — these four crucial components make a coherent cascade.
Sure — this is not the only effective way to organise your message. But it easy, smooth, and versatile that suit different situations. If you know a thrilling, brilliant way to structure the message, by any means, don’t be dogmatic about this approach.
Yet, having PEER in your arsenal can save you a lot of hassle.
Need to give an instant response to an interview question? Want to explain a point quickly and simply?
Your PEER is always standing by.
“Point, Elaboration, Example, and Repeat.”